Back from minors, Renfroe powers Padres past D-backs
SAN DIEGO — Hunter Renfroe returned to San Diego with the right attitude and a refined swing.
Renfroe and Austin Hedges homered, and Luis Perdomo was effectively wild as the San Diego Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Monday night.
Renfroe hit a three-run, first-inning blast on the day he was recalled from Triple-A El Paso. The rookie smacked 20 homers before being demoted on Aug. 18.
“It was humbling, obviously,” Renfroe said. “You get sent down for a reason. You can either grow from it or fail from it, and obviously I wanted to grow from it. I wanted to be a better player.”
In 22 games for El Paso (regular season and postseason combined), Renfroe hit .395 (34-for-86) with five homers and 22 RBIs.
Renfroe is seen as a key piece for the rebuilding Padres. However, he fell into some bad habits and had trouble making contact earlier this year, which punched his ticket for the minors.
“There is so much work that needs to be done,” San Diego manager Andy Green said. “That’s because we think there is another level he can get to.”
Renfroe finished 1-for-3 in his return.
Hedges’ solo shot in the second was his 18th of the season.
Perdomo (8-10) saw his streak of pitching at least six innings snapped at 10 straight starts. His command was an issue throughout his 5 1/3 innings as he walked six and gave up four hits. However, the Diamondbacks, who left nine runners on base, couldn’t produce a clutch hit, and they got to Perdomo for just two runs.
“He was very lucky against a very good team,” Green said, “but he made big pitches when he had to.”
Perdomo won for the second time in his past seven starts. He did so despite walking the leadoff batters in the first, second, third and sixth innings.
“We had some good situations where the right guys were up at the right time and we just didn’t execute,” said Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, whose team lost for just the second time in its past 10 road games.
Craig Stammen relieved Perdomo, wiggling from a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the sixth. Stammen induced Chris Herrmann to fly out and pinch hitter Rey Fuentes to pop up.
“He’s come in over and over again and done that,” Green said of Stammen. “No one does that, no matter how good you are. He was the MVP of the game.”
Brad Hand, the fifth San Diego pitcher, finished off Arizona in the ninth for his 19th save. The Padres’ bullpen blanked the Diamondbacks over the final 3 2/3 innings.
Patrick Corbin (14-13) fell short in his bid to set a career high in wins. He lasted five innings and was charged with four runs, four hits and three walks, one intentional. He struck out three but was done in by allowing both of the Padres’ homers.
“He just couldn’t get into an early rhythm, and he gave up the big three-run home run,” Lovullo said. “That kind of broke the game open in the first inning.”
Corbin agreed the outing got away quickly.
“Just a mistake there early for a three-run homer, and then the next inning just a mistake (to Hedges),” Corbin said. “It’s just frustrating. Those two mistakes in the two homers today. Got to keep the ball in the park there, make a better pitch.”
The Diamondbacks cut their deficit to 4-2 in the third inning. David Peralta and J.D. Martinez each had an RBI single. Manuel Margot made a diving catch in center field on Daniel Descalso’s sinking liner with two on base, limiting the damage.
After Wil Myers’ two-out double in the first and Yangervis Solarte’s walk, Renfroe redirected Corbin’s 92 mph fastball 404 feet over the right-center-field fence for a 3-0 lead. It was his first homer since July 25.
San Diego (67-83) bumped the advantage to 4-0 on Hedges’ solo homer to center in the second.
Arizona (87-64) lost a half-game in its lead over the Rockies in the race for the top National League wild card. Colorado is now 4 1/2 games back.
NOTES: Diamondbacks LF David Peralta exited in the sixth inning with tightness in his right quad. ... Padres RF Hunter Renfroe, OF Travis Jankowski and RHP Tim Melville were called up from Triple-A El Paso. ... C Rocky Gale and INF Christian Villanueva were selected to San Diego’s major league roster, while INF Dusty Coleman and RHP Jose Valdez were designated for assignment.